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Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani

 Blog Tour Review - The Only Way Out is Death by Varun Gwalani Twelve powerful people are kidnapped and imprisoned in an empty hotel. Each one of them has three choices: Live out the rest of their days peacefully in the hotel, Die by suicide so the rest of their companions can go free, Or murder one of their companions so they alone can go free. The Only Way Out is Death follows the story of these twelve people from the perspective of a young lawyer, Kiriaki, told as the events unfold. She has to forge messy alliances, navigate complex relationships and feuds, and, above all, try to stay alive. Meanwhile, the mastermind of this death game is lurking just out of view, watching them closely, making sure they are primed for murder. Will Kiriaki find the mastermind before it's too late for her? Will she outmanoeuvre the cutthroats before they cut her throat? There are twelve selfish lives in the hotel. Will it end in twelve selfish deaths? The Only Way Out is Death is a fascinating nov

Review - The Lighthouse by Alex Bell

Review - The Lighthouse by Alex Bell

On Bird Rock, gannets circle and thick mist surrounds the lighthouse at its centre, hiding the secrets of a tragic past within …

From the second they set foot on the island to join their dad and his new family, Jess and Rosie feel that something’s wrong. Nightmares haunt their dreams and there seems to be someone, or something, else with them in the lighthouse – their home for the summer.

Counting down the days until they can leave, Jess and Rosie decide to investigate. But when Rosie disappears, the countdown takes on a new meaning. Especially when no one but Jess remembers Rosie at all…

The Lighthouse is eerie, suspenseful and utterly horrifying. I loved it.

I loved it opening with a different group of people to the main characters. I think that always works so well in horror, having something nasty happen to one group and then cut to another group just starting out on a journey. I also loved how nothing was really made clear in that prologue. Something bad happened in the lighthouse. Something we'll only find out about later.

One thing The Lighthouse does incredibly well is to build up suspense. From that prologue we know that it's a very dangerous building to go into. Then we see a family with several children going to stay there. This instantly raises alarms for the reader, and it doesn't take long at all until strange things begin to happen to Jess and Rosie. Nothing too terrible, not yet, but enough to put them and the reader on edge. Then there's that steady build up as things get worse and worse, building up to an incredibly dramatic and haunting climax.

The reveals are done cleverly too. Nothing is rushed, though this was a fairly quick read. Mysteries are slowly revealed through old journals, through letters, through folk tale accounts from locals, and through some incredibly grim discoveries.

Throughout all of this, there are other, subtle mysteries. Little things felt off and it was very hard to put my finger on just what it was but it left me feeling uneasy and unsettled. The truth of it left me feeling harrowed. 

I also loved the references to Celtic mythology. This may be a classic haunted house ghost story, but it is also firmly rooted in Scotland, lending it an extra dimension of spooky creepiness.

The Lighthouse left me feeling disturbed and haunted, one of the best horror stories I've read in ages!


The Lighthouse by Alex Bell is published on 29 September 2022 by Little Tiger Group.

I was given a review copy via Netgalley in return for an honest review.


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